1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
It has been said that the traditional role of financial accounts was to give account of steweardship to the owner of business who were divorced from management of business.
There is always the tendency for the owners to doubt the content of the report presented to them. They fear that the report may contain errors, conceal fraud, deliberately misleading or lack on the information content.
To solve this problem of credibility in reports and accounts, there is always the need to appoint and independent person to investigate the report on his findings. Therefore, Auditing can be defined as the independence examination of and expression of opinion on the financial statements of an enterprise by an appointed auditors in pursuance of that appointment and in compliance with any relevant laws and regulations.
In preparation of the financial statements of an enterprise or an establishment and the present of the information contained therein is the responsibility of the management. The auditors responsibilities are to report on the financial statement, as presented by the management (ICAN Auditing Standard and Guideline).
Auditing is also defined as such an examination of the books of accounts and vouchers of a business or entity as will enable the auditors to satisfy himself that the balance sheet is properly drawn up so as to give a TRUE AND FAIR VIEW of the state of attains of a business or entity and whether the profit and loss account gives a TRUE AND FAIR VIEW for the financial period, according to the best of his information and the explanations given to him and as shown in their books, if not in what respect is he not satisfied.
The origin of auditing had its roots in the necessity for the institution of some system of check upon person whose business it is to record the receipt and disbursement of money on behalf of others. In the early stage of civilization, the method of accounts were crude and transaction are small, individuals were able to check their transaction.
The ancient record of auditing were confined principally to the public account. But there are indication that it was customary for an audit of account of manors and Estates to be performed. The person whose duty was to make such examination of account became known as an auditor.
Auditor is derived from the latin word (audire) which means to hear. Originally, the accounting party were required to attend before the auditor who had head the account.
It was not until the 15th century that the (Renaissance) means rebirth in Italy gave great impetus to trade and leads to the evolution of a system of account which was capable of recording completely all kinds of mercantile transaction and the principle of double entry which was more or less applied during the preceding century were published in 1494 at vems by Lula Pacioli. It became possible to record not only cash transaction but also transaction involving matters of accounts and the duty of the auditing comes pondingly increased.
It is for this purpose that the professional bodies such as (ICAN) Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria, Companies and Allied Matters Decree 1990 (CAMD) stipulates the mode of appointment of Auditors (Sec. 357) (1) of (CAMD) 1990. And the qualification of Auditors all to ensure a true and fair view of their report on financial matters.
However, every organization sets up accounting techniques and procedure that will suit its purpose with an eye to establish accounting principles and guidelines. The manufacturing industry introduces such accounting techniques that will take care of every stage or process of manufacturing of such unit of its product, likewise a government establishment like accounting firms, also (SPEB) which is my case study etc, run their outfit using such accounting techniques as would adequately take care of money received and expenses made.
To ensure that the financial position portray true and fair views, the auditor will inquire whether the establishment well run.
The aim of the management audit is to inquire into and report on how well the establishment has followed the wishes of its members carried them out completely. It is quite surprising that irrespective all the stipulated roles of statutory auditors in controlling fraud in government establishment, fraud of all kinds seem to be taken the horn shame in government owned establishment, to the extent that some of the establishment are put into bankruptcy.
The auditor however has other secondary roles which will be discussed later, but the main aim of this project is to verify, enlighten and analyze the role of auditors with respect to fraud. The auditor should also see that errors which could distort the trueness and fairness of the financial account are no committed. Therefore, a statutory auditor is said to be a watchdog and not a blood hood.
Finally, the basic role for the prevention and detection of fraud on the management who may often obtain reasonable assurance that the duties will be discharged by establishing an adequate system of internal control in State Primary and Education Board (SPEB).
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The issue of the outside world regarding auditors as fraud detectors has to be corrected. The auditor is only expected to express opinion on the true and fair view of the financial statement in the area he is carrying out the official assignment and not the detect fraud unless if it specified in the letter of engagement.
He owes the management and members of the board a duty to report to them whenever he discovers any fraud in the course of his normal audit, also the primary aim of audit is to provide a report by the auditors on his opinion on the truth and fairness on the financial statement so that any person using and realign them can have belief in them.
Before the invention of auditors there were some financial problems that necessitated their emergence.
According to Eze (2004:41) the various frauds that auditors are set to detect include but are not limited to:
(i) Timing and lading or carryover fraud
(ii) Fraudulent manipulation of accounts not involving deflation.
(iii) Deflation of money and goods
(iv) No recording of receipts or issuing of fake receipts.
(v) Over stating and recording of non existence expenditure.
(vi) Wring total or declaring lesser amount than actually collected.
(vii) Manipulation of salary and wages voucher e.g ghost workers, and use of money salary structure for some collaborating officials.
(viii) Incorrect brought forwards.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The objectives of this research work include:
1. To examine and find out the role of auditors in some government establishments.
2. To know how often firms audits there accounts.
3. Knowing causes of fraudulent activities in government establishment.
4. Identifying how averse firms management are to auditing.
5. To examine auditing as a veritable tool for checking fraud in government establishment.
6. To examine the problem militating against auditing in government establishment.
1.4 SCOPE AND DELIMITATION
The area of this research project is Enugu, precisely Enugu State Primary Education Board. The research aims at determining the role of auditors in government owned establishments.
While carrying out this study, encountered some problems which include finance. The cost of transportation to areas where data are to be collected was too high as well as the cost of accessing the internet for facts. Some negative attitudes of ENSPEB officials towards information disclosure was among the limiting factors.
Finally, time for data collection, attending lectures, pursuing other academic and non-academic endeavours were also a limiting factor.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In this research work, five questions were formulated to guide this study as follows:
1. How do you assess the role of auditors in curbing fraudulent activities in some establishments especially government owned establishment?
2. Do auditors have flaws?
3. Is it true that fraudulent activities cannot be completely eliminated from Nigeria’s government establishments?
4. Could Auditing of the government establishments account be used as best option or alternative to curb fraud?
5. What problems are Auditors confronted by?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This work is in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of National Diploma in Accountancy.
1. It will also be of immense help to future researchers who will carryout their own investigations in this subject matter.
2. This work will grossly be of great essence to the government by elucidating for them, the need for auditing in their parastatals.
3. It will also go a long way to assist Auditors in handling the affairs of government parastatals.
4. Finally, this work will not in anyway, fail to educate the investing public by offering them a guide to profitable investment.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
AUDITOR: This can be defined as the person whose job is to officially examine the company’s financial records as at when due or when the need arises.
FRAUD: This is an act or a method of illegally feting money from someone, often by using clever and complicated method.
It can be further described as deceiving people to gain money or friendship.
GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHMENT: An establishment can be described as the group of people in a society who are a lot of power and influence and are often opposed to any kind of change or new ideas or a powerful controlling group within a particular type of business.
In other words, a government establishment can be described as an extension of government that performs an activity on behalf of the government as an independent group.
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